That little box holds 50 to 100 books and is part of a national program, Little Free Library, which aims to promote literacy and love of reading. Its slogan is “take a book, return a book.”
Cedar Grove Park received the box as a gift from Arthrelle Snaders, a northern Orange County resident. Her daughter gave her the box as a birthday present.
The Cedar Grove Park Little Free Library box had its opening ceremony on Oct. 8.
Beth Young, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation, said the library makes it easier for residents to access books.
“For people in that area, it gives them access to books that they would not have without traveling a pretty good distance to the library in Hillsborough,” Young said.
The Library’s books come from Orange County Public Library and donations from local residents.
Young said one challenge the library faces is ensuring people return the books after they read them since no one supervises the circulation.
Robert Robbins, Cedar Grove Park manager, said compared to public libraries, the Little Free Library is geared more toward younger generations by giving them more options to read and helping them find the joy in reading.
He said though people have been actively using the library since it opened at the beginning of October, its small size is holding it back.
“It’s limited by size and there are not whole lot of books in there,” Robbins said.
Robbins said although the library is small, it has attracted both the older and younger populations because of its variety of books including mystery and informative storytelling books.
Heather Wright, a fourth-year pediatric resident at UNC, is a steward of two little free libraries in Chapel Hill and Carrboro areas. She said residents can both borrow and donate books to the libraries.
“We hope that, though, they can bring the book back when they finish it or they can replace the book, you know, do a kind of exchange thing to keep various books there,” she said.
Wright said she and her family members help paint the libraries and make sure the books are in good condition.
Wright said the books are completely free.
“That’s kind of the whole reason that why we have it there, you know, is to provide books, especially for children who are not able to afford books,” she said.
Wright said community members, local libraries and nonprofit organizations have donated the books to contribute the libraries.
Robbins said the Little Free Library enriches the park by adding an activity item to the park and encouraging young people to read.
“As far as the little library goes, it has been nothing but a plus,” he said.